Crimes like murder and serious attack happen more often in Portsmouth than anywhere else in Ohio. The shocking numbers come from a report that the office of Portsmouth Police Chief Debby Brewer sent after the City Council and City Manager Sam Sutherland asked for it. The number of people working for the police and fire services has been talked about by the council.
The shocking crime rates come from FBI data that ranks towns in the state with 17,000 to 22,000 people. Portsmouth has the most murders of any city in the country. It also has the second most violent crimes, robberies, and thefts, and the third most rapes and property crimes.
Portsmouth is the eighth most dangerous place in Ohio to live in, no matter how many people live there. These numbers are easily backed up by a quick look at the daily police records.
Brewer said that these numbers are important for figuring out how many police officers are needed. A lot of models use the number of people as a guide, but Brewer says it’s more important to look at the crime rate.
The study says that for every 1,000 people living in Ohio, there are about 2.5 full-time police officers. At the moment, Portsmouth Police do not have enough people.
Technology Takes More Time
Some council members had hoped that new technology would make police less needed, but Portsmouth Police Captain Jason Hedrick said that technology sometimes makes officers’ jobs harder, which makes it take longer to finish investigations. “With the systems we have now, it takes twice as long to make those simple reports.”
When someone is arrested and evidence is taken away, it can take a couple of hours to fill out the incident report, include all the parties, write down and add all the evidence, include all the photos, download and burn all the photos and videos for municipal court and common pleas court.
Then, after everything is put into our records management system, it has to be sent to and uploaded into the “matrix” system for common pleas court, which is run by the local court. It is very easy to find and keep track of investigations with these methods, but they take a lot more time. Our police officers have to spend more time away from the streets to finish their cases because of the new technology.
Police in Portsmouth are on track to answer 22,573 calls and make 1,452 bookings this year. They will also write 1,200 traffic tickets, respond to 600 accidents, and file more than 1,900 criminal charges.
The story also says that police officers in Portsmouth work on special projects. Two detectives work on the Drug Task Force, and two inspectors were put on a public corruption task force to look into the case of disgraced lawyer Michael Mearan.
“These two investigators from Portsmouth Police are the only reason charges were brought against Michael Mearan,” the report said. The two detectives were assigned to the Mearan case by Portsmouth Police. Without them, there would not have been a probe and charges would not have been brought.